TWiP: Beaches and Birthdays

A weekly roundup of the images I took for my daily Project 365, as well as the slice-of-life things I posted on Instagram.

This was a good week. Two of my favorite things about May happened this week: our Ocean City trip, and my birthday. Yay!

There are a lot of images this week – I tend to go a little Instagram-crazy when we’re on vacation. So I’m just going to let all of those pictures do the talking today :-)

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…


Instagram: Good morning, Ocean City, New Jersey! 😎

Instagram: Sun, clouds, beach, quilt, family 😎. PS I can’t see my phone screen. I’m photo-editing blind…

365: 2015 136/365 – Brothers on the beach.

Instagram: The kids have no interest in amusement parks (I know, right??) so I went by myself and spent an hour photographing spinny lights at dusk. 📷😀


Instagram: It was supposed to be a dismal rainy day today, but it’s actually 80 degrees and gorgeous. I hardly know what to do with myself!

365: 2015 137/365 – Under the fishing pier


365: 2015 138/365 – If you get up to pee at 5:15am, you might as well sneak outside and catch the sunrise while you’re up.

Instagram: I’ve walked so much since we got here that this morning my legs are saying, “no thanks, we’re just gonna sit here and drink coffee and do nothing all day.”

Instagram: Ok, so I had to buy a pair of “sun readers” so I could see the words on the page during the brightest part of the day. Shut up. #thisisfortyfour


Instagram: My last morning coffee boardwalk run until our next trip. Sigh. PS. Fog!

365: 2015 139/365 – Well, we packed up the car, visited the arcade, had some lunch, and headed home. Not everyone was happy about the heading home part.

Instagram: In the three hours since we arrived home, our first peony has popped open. ❤🌸❤


365: 2015 140/365 – As much as I love the colors of the shore, I would miss all of this luscious green if I lived there. Spring just seemed to explode in our yard while we were gone.

Instagram: Gotta love those parking lot sunsets.


365: 2015 141/365 – My Thursday night snack: iced coffee and pretzels.


Instagram: I love @starbucks birthday rewards 🎈Free @frappuccino FTW!

365: 2015 142/365 – Birthday cupcakes to share, and a new string of lights.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Sixty Thousand Steps by the Sea

The beach.

On the boardwalk

Last Friday, we hopped in the car and made our way to Ocean City, NJ for our 9th annual long weekend getaway. Our first time was in March of 2007, but we soon realized that while we loved it there, we’d love it a lot more if it were warmer.

Still, we’re not much for huge crowds or pricey hotel rooms, so we chose the last possible moment before the official start of the summer beach season for all of our future Ocean City trips: the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend.

At Castaway Cove

At Castaway Cove

At Castaway Cove

At the arcade

This has worked well for us, although it is often still a bit chilly in mid-May, and we have had to deal with rain every year, sometimes experiencing one more more days that are complete wash-outs. I remember last year it rained so hard one day that we couldn’t leave the hotel room without getting utterly drenched. It was the one and only time we ordered take-out to be delivered.

This year, for the first time ever, we had no rain. At all. It was stunningly gorgeous most of the time we were there. In fact, on Tuesday morning when we were preparing to leave, we were kind of hoping for a thunder storm. Driving away from our favorite place is a lot easier when the rain is coming down in buckets. Sunny days make for difficult departures. Sigh.

Boardwalk Planet

A panoramic view of the boardwalk

So we were there for four nights, as is our current tradition (we started with two, then three, then four, briefly flirted with five last year, and then back to four for 2015 as one of our kids had already missed four days of school the previous week due to a high fever and I couldn’t see letting him miss three days this week just to play on the beach [tempting though it was]).

If this doesn't say "Lisa R. Clarke" I don't know what does.

On the boardwalk

On the boardwalk

Friday night through Tuesday afternoon, I walked a lot.

And I mean a LOT. Roughly 60,000 steps, according to my Fitbit, which is pretty remarkable because on normal days if you look at my Friday-Tuesday steps you’ll see about 1/3 of that number. Sometimes less.

In Ocean City, we stay right on the boardwalk. We park the car when we get there and generally don’t touch it again until we go home. We walk everywhere. I walk every morning to the Ocean City Coffee Company, which is a 3,000 step round trip. Let me put that in perspective for you: it’s 11:30 in the morning as I write this, and I haven’t reached 3,000 steps yet and I have had a more active morning than usual. The only days I have 3,000 steps under my belt by 9am are, well, actually never. But I can have them by 10am if I’ve gone to the gym. And that’s it. My normal activity level is nowhere near my Ocean City activity level.

I wouldn’t exactly call the 60,000 Ocean City steps I took “effortless” but they certainly went by with more ease than they do if I’m walking around my own neighborhood. Part of the issue at home is the hilly terrain, but I think even more of a factor is that there is nothing to walk to in my neighborhood. There is plenty of pretty scenery, but walking around the block gets me nothing but a walk around the block. Walking down the boardwalk in Ocean City, on the other hand, gets me a new t-shirt, a scented candle, and a delicious iced coffee with almond milk and stevia-in-the-raw. In other words, I have destinations and I have purpose.

I keep thinking that if I lived near a small cafe or bakery, I would walk there every morning for a little cup of coffee (and on special occasions, a crumb bun) and I’d get a nice burst of exercise before truly starting my day.

Under the fishing pier

Sunday in Ocean City

At the hotel

Anyway, it was a nice relaxing time as usual. I relish the opportunity to sit in a chair and read in the breeze for as long as I want to. It’s nice to have a few days with no responsibilities whatsoever! I’m already thinking ahead to next May, which makes me think that maybe we need to try and squeeze in another little vacation there this summer for a change of pace.

I wasn’t sure how to end this post, but I think I’ll leave it right here. I suddenly am in the mood to price hotel rooms for sometime in the next few months…